7 Months!

Can't believe Ruby is already 7 months old. She is doing BEAUTIFULLY. Eating 6-7 ounces a time with her bottle, holding it all by herself, and eating stage 2 foods already! She is in the rocking stage, up on all fours and rocking. Can't quite figure out what to do next but she will be crawling soon. We were excited to join one of our 4th grade friends at his school yesterday. He was jumping in the Jump Rope For Heart through the American Heart Association and he was doing it in honor of Ruby! It was a joy to share her story. I was given the opportunity to speak to all of them and then watched our little friend jump rope. THANK YOU to all our family and friends that donated to the cause -we announced on facebook and our friend was the TOP fundraiser of his ENTIRE school! You guys are AMAZING. Our friends gave the girls both bears -each bear had hearts on their sweaters. I realize that the majority of my posts are about Ruby. I DO LOVE LINDY! I PROMISE! Above she is pictured with her best friend cousin Kellyn. My sister lives 4 hours from us and we like to get together at least once a month. I enjoy her company so much. Today, we visited our second school for Lindy and we knew the minute we walked in that it was the school for us. I AM SO EXCITED. I don't know if I mentioned the first school we visited. I really wanted it to be the one, but we walked away disappointed. They didn't hold Bible classes and we were told that "not all kids memorize well" so we don't do memory verses. Really? Sounds like modern Christianity to me -a bit lite. So we unintentionally went in the complete opposite direction and looked at a "classical" Christian Education approach. I LOVE IT and a month ago, I wouldn't even be able to tell you what it was. Let me share some stuff they shared with us. *Taken from a brochure..."Classical Christian Education" Which statement do you most agree? Success in college and in the job market are the primary reasons I send my child to school OR If my child's education builds wisdom, the natural result will be success in life. Education should be entertaining so that children can enjoy their childhood OR Education is a joy unto itself for the student who is taught to love learning. Education trains children in the knowledge and skills that they will need OR Education teaches children the art of learning; it trains the mind in how to think well. Education at school can be value-neutral. We teach our family values at home OR All education teaches an inherent value system. Therefore school should instill values consistent with your family's. I LIKE all the second phrases and feel they are important. I honestly couldn't tell you what the last school's approach was -but it wasn't clearly articulated. I don't even know what the approach is for public schools, but we found this approach and I think it is what we were looking for. We are filling out the paperwork now! We're … [Read more...]

Rights and Wrongs

I know this is a highly sensitive topic and very personal but I wanted to address it here. Just read a blog that I've been following and the 5 month pregnant mother just found out that her child has some serious heart defects. She has 3 choices. Abort the baby, deliver the baby and let nature take over where the child will die within a week, or give birth and use every medical intervention possible to save the child. I immediately commented on the blog (and tried not to be condescending in any way) and said, give the little guy a chance. I would give anything to see my son alive, even if only for 2 minutes. You don't want to have any regrets. It'll be a painful time whether it be 2 minutes or 2 years... Out of 47 comments, I think only TWO of us said, KEEP YOUR BABY ALIVE. wow. Everybody kept saying "do what is best for your and your family." "Your heart will tell you" "Any decision made from love is the right decision." WHAT.A.LOAD.OF.CRAP. Killing your child is not a decision made from love. it is a selfish decision. Even if you say, "I'm doing it to protect the child." No...more than likely you are doing it to protect YOURSELF. Yes, from all the pain that you will have to go through. I have always been pro-life; but when I hear of educated woman who have a child in utero that they don't want and then proceed to kill that child all in the name of love....I just really can't stomach that thought. I get angry. Hence this blog post. I am not condemning this woman, I am just deeply saddened that when given a choice, someone CHOOSES for their child to die. SO CRAZY TO ME. People say, "you won't really know what you'd do unless you're in that situation." Yes, folks. I do know what I would do. I would NOT terminate the pregnancy. I would not willingly allow a doctor to stop my baby's heartbeat forever. I know this is a deep and very personal decision between couples and I have a hard time speaking my mind because I don't want to get yelled at. I know I probably won't change anybody's mind who has already determined in their heart that they are going to abort their child but I just can't sit back and say "whatever you want to do honey." That little boy deserves life, deserves to grow and change and kick and develop, even if he is not perfect. Why do WE get to decide who lives and dies? I am deeply saddened by the crap in this world and how people truly believe there are no real "right or wrongs" anymore. And so many people ENCOURAGE others to just do what "feels right" for them and nothing else matters. Again, I am not condemning but there really is right and wrong in this world. If you have in the past, terminated a pregnancy, I am sure there is deep pain and sadness and guilt but also great sorrow over losing a child. I know part of that pain. I understand that sorrow. This blog is addressed to mothers who are contemplating terminating their pregnancy; I do not want to condemn those who … [Read more...]

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week

Did you know this week was congenital heart defect awareness week? I never in a million years would have thought that I would be an encyclopedia on how babies can die in utero let alone well versed in congenital heart defects. Mind you, Ruby had the heart defects that "if a kid has one, these are the ones you want". I don't know why people say that. Ugh. Doesn't make one feel any better when they pass their 2 month daughter off to a surgery team who will stop her heart; but I understand that yes, it could have been a whole lot worse. I get that. I have experienced the "worse." There is no pain like the death of your child. After the loss of Everett, and over a year of secondary infertility, we secretly thought that God owed us a perfect pregnancy and birthing experience with our third child and maybe even a baby that was a good sleeper and a good eater... ha. We didn't necessarily get those things, but we wouldn't trade any of it for our Ruby, born July 25, 2011 with congenital heart defects. Ruby had joined the statistics, she was the 1 out of 100. We struggled with the feedings and sleeping, we were in and out of the hospital but most importantly her heart was successfully repaired on October 6, 2011. 1 in 100, that statistic is SO INCREDIBLE. I think awareness is out there in the world, but only to those of us and our friends and families who have experienced CHD. I think there needs to be more education and help for newly diagnosed children and families with all the feeding issues that occur. We were kind of just sent home with our newborn and expected to just look for a few symptoms. fussy while eating. sleepy... ya know, the things that MOST newborns encounter. We felt so helpless and like we were doing something wrong, when in fact, her heart defects were the true reasons we were having such a hard time with feedings. Looking back, it is always easier to see what the problem is, but in the moment, it is terrifying. I'm so glad those days are behind us. Ruby is holding her Beads of Courage, an amazing nationwide organization that supplies hospitals with beads for children who undergo multiple treatments/surgeries or things that involve courage. Ruby got A LOT of beads and each one represents something that was done to her. She has beads for things like: IV starts. She has 7 of those beads. EKGs and X-rays: 13 beads. Visits from PT or OT: 15 beads. Her heart bead for cardiac surgery and the list goes on and on. When I see her beads, I wish with all my heart that my brother would have had the beads of courage. Of all people, he deserved them. 8 years of cancer...would have probably given him 20 necklaces. I have NO IDEA why MD Anderson in Texas or Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MIN would not have started him on this program. Makes me sad to think he missed out on it. Conceived by our second attempt at an IUI, Ruby is our miracle baby on many levels. Thank you Jesus for giving us this gift in … [Read more...]